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Dutch funds show “negligible” interest in CSR

NETHERLANDS – Dutch pension funds show “negligible” interest in corporate social responsibility, according to a survey of Dutch investor relations managers.

“Pension funds, to put it lightly, do not consider the issue of corporate engagement in the CSR arena to be a top priority,” said the Universiteit Nyenrode.

It added that the issues of corporate governance and CSR were “still miles apart for the pension funds” – though interest was growing gradually. “The resources represented by that interest are, however, negligible in relation to the total resources of the pension funds.”

“For the average investor, corporate governance is a far more important topic than corporate social responsibility,” the Breukelen-based business school said.

It found that pension funds, and the SCGOP, the Stichting Corporate Governance Onderzoek voor Pensioenfondsen or Foundation for Corporate Governance Research for Pension Funds, were more interested in corporate governance issues.

The report found that funds prefer to communicate during annual general meetings personally, while the SCGOP communicates in writing.

“The facts may give the impression that shareholder activism regarding corporate governance is flourishing. However, various respondents indicated their feeling that, in practice, activism in the Netherlands is still minor,” the report said.

The Universiteit Nyenrode’s Institute for Responsible Business surveyed investor relations managers at large and mid-cap Dutch companies.

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